The Hasselblad XPan is probably one of the most desirable, and unusual, film cameras ever made. Unlike the medium format cameras that have made Hasselblad famous, the XPan used 35mm film to shoot panoramic images that were 65x24mm in size.
And now Oppo is offering you the chance to shoot images with the same panoramic ratio on its latest camera phone, the Find X5 Pro. And the reason for the inclusion of this rather novel smartphone mode, is that Hasselblad is now working with Oppo to help it with its photo technology. This XPan mode was first seen on OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 phones last year, but now that OnePlus has been merged into Oppo the tech moves to the Find X5 Pro.
The original XPan was launched in 1998, and over 16,000 of these cameras were sold. In 2003, an updated XPan II was produced, of which Hasselblad tells us there 5500 produced before the model was discontinued in 2006. Both models were produced as a joint venture with Fujifilm, which sold the cameras as the TX-1 and TX-2.
Looking like an oversized compact, and weighing 950g, the XPan actually had an interchangeable lens system with a choice of 30mm, 45mm, and 90mm primes. A secondhand XPan sells with the 45mm lens for around $4,000 / £3,000 on eBay.
A novel feature of the cameras was that, unlike other 35mm models, the film was wound back into the cartridge after each exposure – to minimize noise when shooting, and to avoid the disaster of fogging the film if the back was accidentally opened.
The Oppo incarnation of the XPan is, of course, one of the digital menu options on it built-in cameras - but despite having three built-in lenses only offers the one wideangle view when shooting the panoramas. In a nod to the Hasselblad association, the on-screen shutter button is orange.
A neat trick of the XPan mode, however, is that as you fire this shutter the image you have just taken is displayed as a negative (either color, or black and white, depending on which you have chosen). But the images themselves are recorded on the internal memory as positives.